Welcome to Perfomance Development Strategies.

We partner with our clients to help them determine where they want to go and what results they want to achieve.  Then we help you develop the action plan to make it happen.  We help our clients develop and manage strategic, cultural, and structural changes within their organizations. By working together, we can provide personalized processes and support materials that help turn goals into reality. We help organizations align their plan, people, and systems in order to gain a competitive edge.
We facilitate and coordinate programs to develop your company's human capital, focusing on attitude development, human relations, skill development, and goal setting.


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Customer Service and Customer Loyalty

The mastery of customer service can mean the difference between success and failure. The corporate trend of raising customer service is a business necessity. Customers are more willing to forgive a product failure than a service failure by a ratio of 5 to 1. If customer retention is important, then improving customer service must be the tactic. Unfortunately in many companies, the customer has become a low priority. When people are not treated according to their expectation, they will take their business elsewhere. What’s more, they relay their bad experience to ten or more other people. The question then becomes not whether to improve your companies service standard, but how?

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What is
coaching? Is it right for you?

Have you ever felt like you are navigating through your professional life alone? If you are like most executives and small business owners the answer is yes. In a corporation, the higher up the ladder you go the harder it is to find someone to discuss dreams, goals, actions, and success strategy. This is also true of the small business owner. Having a coach is like having a needed connection that cannot be made with others. For example:

Your spouse may listen but the dynamics of marriage relationship may cloud perspective and objectivity.

Your friends want to be helpful but they don’t have the training to identify real issues and they don’t have the time commitment.

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PD Strategies Blog

Performance and Development Strategies Blog is the informational place to get timely and purposeful articles on the issues that concern you most.

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Grant Schneider

Grant Schneider

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Posted by on in Fear of Change
Procrastination is the root cause of many time management issues. In fact, time management is usually not a time management problem but a behavior problem. Procrastination is something that we all have to confront and deal with from time to time. It's only natural to procrastinate at times, but the way you deal with your procrastination patterns will determine what effects procrastination has on your life. Why is it that so many people start out with good intentions to achieve a goal but never achieve that goal? When you procrastinate you simply fail to take action on the very things you know will bring you the rewards that you desire. You know you want the rewards and know you must take action but you hold off, make excuses and, in short, procrastinate. Procrastination can be caused by a fear—a fear of failure or the fear of stepping outside your comfort zone....

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
The employees of your business are important to your success. It is important to have the right person in the right job. Just as important, you must give your employees the support that they need to do the best work. Unfortunately, I am sometimes contacted by business owners that can’t understand why there are so many bad employees and they want me to fix them. Really? It doesn’t work that way. Here is an example. I have changed some things so as not identify anyone. I was asked by a family business what I felt needed to be done to “make their people work.” They did not ask me what they could do differently. For starters, family members disagreed on the operation of the business. Because of this, some key employees chose to align with one family member over the other. The managers in the business complained about lack of leadership...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
Fear of change is an emotion that can become paralyzing.   I am reminded of a story relayed to me by a Westchester County NY CEO. The business has had years of successful sales and profits. Although the long standing business model had produced great sales and profits, lately there had been a small decline in sales and profits. Since the business was making money the CEO reasoned let’s just see what happens. If it’s not broke don’t fix it. Unfortunately, with this business and others there are constant changes in the economy and market. You can wait for change to force you to do something and then react. But that is not the best option. The best option is to predict and get in front of change. These are some of the things you should you should be doing proactively: 1.        Make sure you know what business you are in. Whether...

Posted by on in Sales and Marketing
People do not like to be sold but they sure like to buy. Most if not all of us are in some form of sales but to be successful we need to more to the buyer side of the table and assist them in buying. So here are seven ideas to help you open a conversation and assist your clients in buying: 1. Don’t use a sales pitch but instead start a conversation. When you call someone, avoid making a mini-presentation about yourself, your company, and what you have to offer. Start with an opening conversational phrase that focuses on a specific problem that your product or service solves 2. Your central goal is always to discover whether you and your potential client are a good fit. Let go of trying to “close the sale” or “get the appointment.” If you simply focus your conversation on problems that you can help...
Tagged in: Sales Trusted Advisor

Posted by on in Motivation and Goal Achievement
Someone else cannot motivate you. Motivation comes from within. However, that does not mean that help someone find his or her inner motivation. Only when you focus on the other person rather than what you won’t will you start to see results with other people. Start with yourself. And to be specific start with the WHY. Frankly, if you do not have the WHY the HOW will not matter. Motivation and goal achievement are interrelated. Knowing what motivates you is a key to achievement and knowing how to find motivation in others is a key to leadership. Dwight Eisenhower said that leadership is getting others to do what you want because THEY want to do it. Reach down and find that motivation and bring it to the surface. Find your passion. If you are not what you are passionate about start by doing a dream inventory. List every dream you have....

Posted by on in Hiring and Selection
A leading indicator of future performance is not past experience. That is not to say that knowledge of the job and the requisite skills are not important. They certainly are but when you hire someone you are looking for future performance. I work with numerous privately held and family held businesses. And I have observed that those running the business believe that their industry is different from others, so unique that the primary requirement is experience. Because of that mindset I have seen many bad candidates hired and many qualified candidates screened out. The hiring manager is using the assumption that as long as the candidate has previous experience in the industry or job that the candidate will be a success in the hiring manager’s job. In my work with organizations I have found that experience in the industry is NOT a predictor of success. In fact, I have seen it...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
HOW TO DEVELOP A LOYAL CUSTOMER BASE Peter Drucker said that the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer. It is really that simple. Creating a customer is done through a clear message and marketing but keeping a customer is based on performance. There are not enough businesses that reason focus on what works to retain a customer. A company that says it separates itself from others by service usually does not know what that really means. As an example it seems that the majority of businesses are focusing on customer satisfaction to determine their customer service measurements. This measurement is flawed and often falls short of actionable expectations. Companies also make a mistake in the method of measuring the voice of their customer. Asking people to write a rating on social media is MARKETING not measurement. Measurement is consistent, private, and asks for the good, the bad,...
Tagged in: Customer Loyalty

Posted by on in Motivation and Goal Achievement
Many business advisors and sales consultants talk about how they want to be a trusted advisor to their client. Becoming a trusted advisor is a process that is built on credibility, trust and respect. For some, achievement of that objective for some will require a paradigm shift in conduct of the buying selling process. Dan Pink, in his book, “To Sell is Human,” talks about how we are all in sales so to speak. He calls this the art of moving people and it applies to everyone from consultants to teachers. The old formula of sales no longer works. Those who remember sales from years ago remember ABC which means Always Be Closing. This is a tactic no longer works in today’s information rich environment. Using gimmicks to get sales in the past was based on the fact that the seller had a deal or that the buyer did not know...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
Are you doing the job you are paid to do? If you were promoted to management recently this is a fair question. There a large difference between being a great individual performer and a great manager and leader. In 1969, Lawrence Peter wrote a humorous book titled The Peter Principle in which he postulated that, in a hierarchy people tend to be promoted to the level of their incompetence. He noted that although this is not planned it is the unintended consequence. Companies make a flawed assumption that because the employee was a great individual performer in the previous job that he or she will adapt and become a leader of the team. Inevitably, according to the Peter Principle, the person ends up being promoted to a job where they are no longer competent. This is referred to as their "level of incompetence". The employee has no chance of further promotion,...

Posted by on in Motivation and Goal Achievement
Many times my clients in Westchester County New York tell me that they have problems with time management. If that were the case, then they would be able to solve their problems very quickly. But time management is not a time management issue at all. It usually involves a much bigger issue including attitudes and behaviors. Since it involves a much bigger issue you can’t solve the problem simply by being more organized. Systems alone cannot help create more time. There are many books that tell you how to organize your time. You can buy a day planner, or use Apps or other organizing and calendar programs but still have no better control of your day. The root cause of the problem is not the lack of systems or processes. It is our own attitudes about time, our bad habits and our bad behaviors. It is a fact that you only...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
Exercising strong control rarely leads to better performance. In fact, being a control freak insures that nothing can get done without your involvement. If you want to have a growing business too much control is not the way to achieve it. Many of my business owners in Westchester County New York have learned the importance of delegation to business growth. Once you decide to add just one new employee your main job is not control but getting others to do what needs to be done. If you don’t let go, you will be seen as a micro manager. This will actually de motivate your team and guarantee that you will do everything yourself. Why is this problematic? Let me ask another question. Why did you hire another person to begin with? The answer is that you wanted to be able to grow your business. But if you don’t get out of...

Posted by on in Attitudes and Behaviors
Behavioral competencies are more important the functional job competencies. Organizations that leverage behavior competencies create cultures of performance and success.   And Peter Drucker is alleged to have said that culture eats strategy for lunch. This means the without the culture including vision, values, people who share those values and doing the right thing; then your strategy is not worth the paper it is printed on. In Good to Great Jim Collins explains that building a great organization is as simple as “Getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” It may be simple but it’s not easy. You will need to change the way you hire people. Unfortunately, all too often owners and hiring managers tend to make hiring decisions by looking at background in the industry, jobs held before, and job history. Significant time is spent...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
Are you running as fast as you can but finding that no one is following you? Worse than that, are they running the other way? C, that you empower your engaged employees, that they will in turn create loyal customers leading to growth and success. Focused Leader - You may be the owner, the manager, or CEO but that does not mean you are seen as the leader. You appoint yourself CEO but your team will follow you if you are the leader.   As leader you will create vision, model behavior and inspire results. With your inspiration people recognize your leadership. You will be creating an environment where people will join your team. They see the purpose of what they are supposed to do and understand the vision as well as the values of the organization for which they work. Today’s fast-moving business environment demands that the effective leader be both,...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
If you are an employer in Westchester County New York, you know that it is difficult to find qualified employees. Once you find them you want them to be productive. And if they become performers you want them to stay. You need a Value Proposition to attract customers to your business, right? Well guess what, you need an Employee Value Proposition to attract and retain employees. Your employees really want opportunities to grow and develop. They want to do the best they can do and be the best they can be. It is important for you to engage that. Create a platform for Employee Development and Results. We start with expectations but before we measure expectations we need to set expectations. It is not merely enough to tell an employee here is your job description and see me if you have any questions. Establish expectations from the start. Help orient your...

Posted by on in Communication
I heard someone describe a manager by saying, “He could get you upset just by saying Good Morning. Social interaction among individuals is subject to emotions and interpretation. You can be upset about something that happened earlier and the emotion could carry through negatively when communicating with staff members. Sometimes it is not what you say but how you say it. You can change this by being aware of your emotions and keeping them in check. Then learn how to react and interact with people. Here are six situations and possible ways to respond. •          You can accept others ideas and respect them although you do not have to agree. Acknowledge amazing requests and outrageous statements with responses such as: "That's an interesting idea." "That's a novel request." "What an intriguing question." Then listen to what the other person is saying and use those questions as an opportunity for the other...

Posted by on in Coaching
Many times people to not achieve goals or change behaviors because they are paralyzed by fear. This causes people and companies to stand still. Standing still is not an option. Cars change, technology changes, and business practices change. What you did to get to where you are today will not get you where you want to go tomorrow.   If you want to continue hold onto your customers and market share you must adapt to changing times. And if you want to move forward you need to anticipate and get ahead of change. Why do people resist change? Why do people continue to do the same things although they are no longer getting the results they once achieved? Understanding the reasons people resist change can help overcome the obstacles to change and create real progress. So here are four reasons why people resist change and stay in the “Land of Status Quo.”...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
As a business owner do you sometimes feel like you are a hamster running on a wheel. That is because are working IN your business, chasing every detail and putting out every fire. This is natural because it is what you first did as you started your business. You know how to run the business but that does not mean you are managing it. When you stop working does the business stop? If this is the case, then there is a lack of entrepreneurial leadership. For example, in the restaurant industry there are numerous great cooks and chefs that feel that because they know how to create a great meal that that they should open a restaurant. The restaurant might open and have sales but the owner might be so consumed with the food details that he might neglect other parts of the business. In most cases the business stops when...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
What is the best was to see your business grow and have a sustainable business? The answer is this. It has been proven time and time again that a manager who empowers his or her staff by giving them authority to make decisions and control outcomes is many times more successful than a manager who holds the control. Management teams in Westchester County NY that have been following this advice have been seeing their sales increase and their employee turnover decrease. Clearly empowerment of staff creates better outcomes. Unfortunately, managers and executives find it very hard to let go and allow their staff to drive results. In some cases, the need to be right prevents the manager from trusting his or her employees. If you have a trust or fear issue you might want to ask yourself these two questions. First of all, have you provided your staff with all of...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
What makes a great leader? Many people debate that there are certain leadership traits. Even if that is true these traits have most likely been developed. The development of your leadership depends on the environment such as type of organization, team demographic, and nature of mission. One trait of a successful leader could be a liability in someone else’s leadership. A great leader is effective and effectiveness means understanding the situation, the team, and the desired results. Rather than being born a leader the traits needed can, most of the time, be developed. Traits like knowledge and skills, however, do not guarantee success. It is necessary for a leader to develop successful habits. Just as there are habits of highly successful people there are also habits of highly successful leaders.   Here are seven habits of highly effective leaders. A Leader always does the right thing. That is one of the principles...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
“How am I doing?” Those of you living in New York City might remember when Mayor Koch used to ask his constituents that question. Asking that question with your business is very powerful because tells your employees and your customers that they matter. That they matter is an understatement. First of all, exceeding your customer’s expectations is essential to creating loyal customers and increasing your customer base. In order to have loyal customers you need to have engaged and loyal employees and you need to know things are working. You want the truth? “You can’t handle the truth!” This well-known line was uttered by Jack Nicholson in the move, A Few Good Men. Do you think there might be some truth in that statement? That appears to be the case in many organizations. It is just not comfortable to ask too many questions. It is easier for companies with retention problems,...


Grant has worked with us at MAS to provide expert strategic planning knowledge and direction, effective goal setting and team development. I highly recommend his services to anyone who is looking to grow, organize or even redefine their business growth goals. Marshall that he had the greatest sales increase in 2012 30%

December 6, 2012, ~ Lisa Schmid and Marshall Marinace



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